AMPlify: Indigenous Composer Initiative

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AMPlify: Indigenous Composer Initiative is a new program aimed at supporting and mentoring emerging Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander composers in new music and jazz.

AMPlify: Indigenous Composer Initiative had its first iteration in 2017 and was a collaboration between the Australian Music Centre and Moogahlin Performing Arts, APRA AMCOS, the Australian National University School of Music, Ensemble Offspring and lead indigenous compositional mentor Chris Sainsbury.

The program was aimed at supporting and mentoring emerging Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander composers in developing new techniques and skills in instrumental composition and notation, as well as industry knowledge and relationships to build their craft and networks into the future.

In 2017 we collaborated with five composers from around Australia and of all ages – Brenda Gifford, Troy Russell, Elizabeth Sheppard, Tim Gray and Rhyan Clapham, who wrote a huge range of new works for the combination of percussion, flute, clarinet and cello. Throughout 2017 these new works were workshopped at Eora College, recorded at the ANU School of Music and then showcased in a concert at Eora College which was documented by ABC Classic FM for a special podcast.


3 AUGUST, 6pm, Eora College, Redfern


Brenda Gifford – Gambambara
Elizabeth Sheppard – Kooranginy
Troy Russell – Nucoorilma/River life
Tim Gray – Lupe! (4 scenes): War; Reflection; Hunting; Serial Killer’s Mind (Pts 1 and 2)
Troy Russell – River life
Brenda Gifford – Bardju
Rhyan Clapham – Pitara Yaan Muruwariki


Claire Edwardes (percussion/artistic director)
Jason Noble (clarinet)
Lamorna Nightingale (flute)
Freya Schack-Arnott (cello)
Ryan Clapham (percussion)


Read an article by Chris Sainsbury, composer and concept creator of the Indigenous Composer Initiative in Resonate Magazine
Listen to ABC Classic FM’s special podcast on the Indigenous Composer Initiative here.